The issues


In 2015 there were already 72 million people classified as migrants living in Europe according to the UNODC. Ongoing migration has accelerated so that, in the year up to October 2015, more than 644,000 people had arrived in Europe from countries such as Syria, Eritrea and Libya. According to the UNHCR 361,678 arrived by sea in 2016, an additional 5,022 were known to be dead or missing on the journey. The total of those arriving in Europe now approaches 1.3 million annually. The UNHCR reports that this situation has fuelled a rise in racism, xenophobia, gender-based violence and intolerance all of which will result in the exclusion of children from the education and learning which is their entitlement.

Because they also face trauma from separation and disruption, the ICAM programme includes the children of European migrant workers left behind in their country of birth. In Romania alone there are an estimated 650,000 CAM left behind by parents migrating for work elsewhere in Europe.

There is strong evidence to show that investment in SEL and the creation of a safe and secure learning environment in school is highly cost effective, and that, through the application to improved life skills and the ability to learn of all children, these initiatives bring major economic benefits in the future, both in terms of productivity and in reduced social welfare/criminal justice costs. This programme not only meets key needs of the target group, it also benefits countries as a whole by helping to ensure that, through the ICAM programme, it is not only CAM, it is all children, who will become fully integrated and contributory members of society.